HARRISBURG, PA — A sizable chunk of healthcare premiums in America is spent on communications aimed at misleading the public. That’s the conclusion of Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive and author of the eye-opening book Deadly Spin.
In an interview in PATIENT SAFETY, Potter shares his inspiration for the book, the ways in which the public is being deceived, how to tell if a news story is just propaganda and what to do if you are having difficulty with your insurance provider. Potter is a leading advocate for reform of the healthcare system.
“Even if people have insurance, there are several barriers that insurance companies have erected to make it more difficult and more expensive to get the care they really need,” Potter explains. “If you are denied care, you should appeal it right off the bat. Ask your physician to appeal it also. Be your own advocate but find someone else who can help advocate for you.”
Among his suggested actions are to reach out to your state legislator, your member of Congress, your senator, and the media. “I know from years of experience in the insurance industry that when that happens, your case gets elevated to what they refer to as a ‘high profile case.’ And that gets special consideration.”
Other topics in the March issue of PATIENT SAFETY include:
- Bridging the Gap in the Vaccine Divide: An infection preventionist, psychologist, and mother of a son with autism share tips to recognize how anxiety can cloud our judgment and ways both sides of the vaccine debate can have a productive conversation.
- Patient Safety Events Related to Inaccurate Patient Height: In this analysis, the Patient Safety Authority reviews events in Pennsylvania, highlights the relationship between height and medication dosing, and the discusses the potentially fatal consequences if that calculation is performed using an incorrect height.
- Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures Still Carry Risks: Generally considered safe, complications can include readmission, return to the OR, and conversion to a more invasive surgery.
PATIENT SAFETY is the peer-reviewed journal of the Patient Safety Authority. A scientific publication, PATIENT SAFETY humanizes patient harm with stories, opinion pieces, and magazine-quality design. It has a readership of more than 40,000 people in 160 countries.
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